Llambias Thinks Wonga Are The Cream Of The Crop

Newcastle’s commercial revenue decreased in the last financial year through last June, but we have the new Wonga deal starting next season for four seasons, but because of the poor name of the company, a lot of Newcastle fans are unhappy the club is bring sponsored by a pay-day loan company.

nufc wonga shirt

Wonga start their shirt sponsorship next season

It’s the best deal Newcastle have had for a shirt sponsor ever, according to Derek Llambias, and we think it’s around £6M a year for four years, but’s that’s 25% or even less of the money some big clubs in England like Chelsea, Manchester United and Liverpool receive from their shirt sponsors.

Wonga are also paying money to the Youth Academy and they have paid money up front to immediately have the name of St. James’ Park restored to the stadium.

Mike Ashley had named the stadium after his company – in a very controversial move – and then had somebody  pay Newcastle United to have the name changed back to what it should always have been –  not a bad business deal – but there are still far too many Sports Direct signs all over St. James’ Park.

Derek LLambias has talked about Wonga, and he says they are a cut above a pay-day loan company:

“It seems to be flavor of the month to criticize the deal, but you have clubs with betting companies and drink companies.” “Wonga are above the pay-day loan companies. They are the cream of that group.”

“They have not asked us for our database, they are not trying to sell loans to our database, they are trying to show they are a financial institution that is trying to give something back to us.” “We should be privileged we have a sponsor who is paying fair money and who wants to help.”

Pay-day loan companies charge ridiculously high interest rates on short-term loans – to the very people who are short of money and cannot afford to pay in the first place.

In the USA,  pay-day loan companies are banned in many  states – and they are not allowed in North Carolina – because of the dubious nature of their business.

But like it or not, Wonga will be on the shirts of Newcastle United for the next four seasons.

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19 comments so far

  • Transfer Sage

    Mar 28, 2013 at 9:15 AM

    Comment #1

    A horrible company who’s whole business model is to exploit those in financial problems, nobody goes to a pay day loan company unless desperate for the cash due to the fees.

    At least betting companies and alcohol ones don’t solely prey on the needy, the majority of their customers see it as a treat or bonus. Of course some people are not in control but regulations are in place which ensures they must advise to gamble/drink responsibly and offer advice/links to where people can see help.

  • firebug666

    Mar 28, 2013 at 9:22 AM

    Comment #2

    I generally find myself skint, but don’t feel I need to go to a loan company, I just muddle through. I can understand peoples anger and frustration with our club over this deal. However Wonga are a company that will help out in the local community, and are helping NUFC with their sponsoship, if not for Wonga we might be fighting relegation from the “Sports Direct Arena” and with fewer players. We might not agree with this deal, but it’s done now and we have to accept that. Rather than winge about it we all need to get behind it and support our team to the end of the season, stay in the premiership and onwards and upwards.

  • Carryingcoals

    Mar 28, 2013 at 9:25 AM

    Comment #3

    Morning Sage, I agree. Maybe FIFA/ The FA / whoever should regulate sponsor deals too. Football needs (and does in many examples) to be giving back to the community, rather than flaunting vulturous institutions.

    We have debated this long and hard on the blog but I do not approve of the deal at all. As Ed has written – they aren’t allowed in the part of the U.S he is in, I won’t go in to detail about what should and shouldn’t be happening in this country, though I really do wish we weren’t involved with Wonga.

    For a city so dependent on being a city with one club, one stadium, everyone rallying around football as an identity – this (for me) tarnishes what we are about to.

  • Carryingcoals

    Mar 28, 2013 at 9:32 AM

    Comment #4


    I can appreciate what you’re saying.

    Although on many levels it is damaging. I think it hinders the community rather than helps, no matter what the company intends to do in the area.

    Look at the arts cuts for example, we are a city of culture and have been hit by funding being slashed. Ok money will go in to other areas the city needs it to go into however, the ambiance of the city and what Newcastle is all about will suffer.

    I’m quite proud to be from Newcastle and for what that represents, I think a lot of people don’t quite appreciate how the people sincerely feel about this.

    Yes it’s done and yes we will undoubtedly get behind the team, we always do, that’s who we are but we shouldn’t suppress opinions or not talk about something that is such a major issue.

    The whole Ashley/llambias regime is producing and delivering and I like where we are as a club and the direction we are clearly heading. However I will never like this deal and there’s no reason to not express that.

  • scdoty

    Mar 28, 2013 at 9:35 AM

    Comment #5

    Don’t think he deserves a chant but….

    You’ve done well with our club,
    You’ve done well with our club.
    You slightly less fat cockney bastard
    You’ve done well with our club.

  • Transfer Sage

    Mar 28, 2013 at 9:35 AM

    Comment #6


    I will support the team equally as much as I do now, however I will not buy a shirt next season with that advert plastered on the front of it.

    And thats the issue, you can get by (by the sounds of it) but these companies for for people who need money for rent or heating, things they cannot afford but really can’t live without. Sure you get some people using them for lesser things like holidays but in general they make money from those in genuine need.

    The extra money won’t be a lot either. 8mil a year for naming rights to stadium, shirt sponsor and training ground advertising isn’t that much?

    That 8mil hasn’t saved us from relegation either, it will be more but not a huge amount more than virgin paid us. I can’t imagine virgin gave us less than 5mil a year so we aren’t that much better off (not like man city’s 100+mil deal with etihad).

  • DrunkenSteve

    Mar 28, 2013 at 9:36 AM

    Comment #7

    Vile Company

    Short sighted sponcer

    Poor Deal

    Shame on you Lambias

  • Transfer Sage

    Mar 28, 2013 at 9:39 AM

    Comment #8


    Exactly. I think it’s something fans should voice their opinion about if they feel strong enough. I’m all for contacting MP’s and protesting if you feel there is an injustice or something negative in the community (just my opinion of course).

    I think the fact a lot of people just accept things these days is what allows politicians and large companies to dominate and it takes power away from people.

    But enough politics, my point is basically I do not like Wonga or other such companies and will continue to press for change.

  • Carryingcoals

    Mar 28, 2013 at 9:50 AM

    Comment #9


    my sentiments exactly. Social movements can begin in the grassroots.

    But yes back to football. Can we pick up points at Man City? It’ll be difficult, but they’re far from unbeatable.

    Sunderland however have it tough. Next 4 games are Man U Chelsea us and Everton. Fletcher out for the season. They really could go down. Just got a ticket for the derby yesterday so I’m happy with that.

  • swiller2004

    Mar 28, 2013 at 9:51 AM

    Comment #10

    What evidence is there that wonga paid any money to have the name changed back to SJP. I have never seen any figures on what wonga have actually paid. It all seem like a PR exercise by the club after the digust of the fans with wonga being the shirt sponsors.

  • Transfer Sage

    Mar 28, 2013 at 9:53 AM

    Comment #11


    They paid money for naming rights, shirt deal and training ground. No percentage breakdown though.

    I can’t imagine they would pay extra to change it from sports direct arena to st james park though. I’m with you in thinking that was a PR stunt to make the club and wonga look good.

  • swiller2004

    Mar 28, 2013 at 10:10 AM

    Comment #12

    transfer Sage

    If the whole deal is £24m over 4 years then I feel that it’s hasn’t got market value, the marketting team should be overhaul. Look at the increase in revenue streams that MUFC & LFC have achived under the american owners by gaining international companies for their major sponsors. I just feel that £15m a year is a figue that NUFC could easly achive if they had top marketting people and not Derek dealing with advertising.

  • mindshaft

    Mar 28, 2013 at 10:11 AM

    Comment #13

    I won’t buy a shirt but then again I never bought a virgin shirt and still have my Northern Rock shirts
    I’m not that bothered about the morality of Wonga, same as I’m not bothered about all the betting / drink companies that sponsor other clubs

  • lesh

    Mar 28, 2013 at 10:31 AM

    Comment #14

    Wonga’s probably better than most involved in that business… That’s not me defending wonga but they’re a fact of life in this tacky society we ‘live’ in.

  • Munster Mag

    Mar 28, 2013 at 11:56 AM

    Comment #15

    Have never felt happy about the Wonga deal. It doesnt seem great money, and the club is tarniushed a little by association. Trying to defend these guys is pointless – as Ed says, the US equivalents are banned in some states. There is a massive difference between alcohol advertising and this – two massively different entities and philosophies. BTW, I didnt realise the mack and tacks had such hard games coming up…..:)

  • Bosck

    Mar 28, 2013 at 1:02 PM

    Comment #16

    I’ve used Wonga plenty of times, there’s no moral issue. They are very clear on terms. Just used them when wanted/needed a bit more cash to get to the next payday. People need to get off the moral high horse. Wonga offer a service that they aren’t hiding.

  • Bambams

    Mar 28, 2013 at 1:36 PM

    Comment #17

    If i am totally honest i am not that happy Wonga are our sponsors, i would have much rather had Coke Cola, Nike, Adidas, Mars….. But these companies do not want us at the money we want from them.

    In a business sense it is a good deal, we are on the up and it just shows with Virgin money our core management team will get the best deal they can AT THAT TIME.

    What’s to say in four/five years time we are near the top 4-6 in the league and ‘Brand’ names will then happily pay the fee’s we want.

  • Bambams

    Mar 28, 2013 at 1:45 PM

    Comment #18

    Just a thought but i always wondered why ‘Greggs’ never sponsored us….. Maybe its because we are a club living from its ‘pastie’ or their management team wont ‘mince ‘ their words in negotiations…..

    I am bored fellas, counting down to 2.30pm when my weekend starts !

  • lesh

    Mar 28, 2013 at 1:59 PM

    Comment #19

    Bambams @ 18….

    If we fare badly in years to come, we might just see ‘Greggs Seconds’ on our shirts!

    Ps… fare, Greggs, …. geddit?


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